Authors: Rebecca L. Collins, Phyllis L. Ellickson, Daniel McCaffrey, Katrin Hambarsoomians
Title: Early Adolescent Exposure to Alcohol Advertising and its Relationship to Underage Drinking
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health, 2007, 40, 527-534.
Objective: The study examines whether the exposure to alcohol marketing affects adolescents’ beer use.
Design: Prospective study (longitudinal study)
Setting: 39 schools in South Dakota, US
Participants: Sixth grade students between 11 and 12 years old (N=1786). One of the youngest groups sampled (grade 6). A majority of these early adolescents have not started drinking yet (respectively 15 and 17 percent).
Methods: It is examined whether the level of exposure to television beer advertisements, alcohol ads in magazines, in-store beer displays, beer concessions, radio listening time, ownership of beer promotional items in grade 6 affect beer drinking in grade 7 and drinking intentions in grade 7. Logistic regression analysis is performed to calculate odds ratios adjusted for covariates (parental monitoring, adult drinking, peer drinking, parent approval, friend approval, school grades, low religiosity, depressed mood, deviance, impulsivity, sports participation, parent education, gender, ethnicity, frequency of beer drinking in grade 6).
Findings: 17% reported past year beer drinking at grade 7. The odd ratios (95%CI) for drinking beer of the complete model in which all the ad variables are included together with the joint effects for beer drinking were: ESPN cable network 1.08 (0.83-1.42); other sports beer ads 1.19 (1.01-1.40); other TV beer ads 1.13 (0.95-1.34); magazine reading 0.96 (0.87-1.06); radio listening 1.17 (1.00-1.37); beer concessions 1.01 (0.91-1.13); in-store beer displays 1.03 (0.92-1.14); beer promotional items 1.76 (1.23-2.52). Joint effect of exposure to ads from all sources: F(8,28)=8.36, p<0.0001, and from 3 TV sources: F(3,33)+3.35, p<0.05. 20% of youth in 75th percentile of alcohol marketing exposure at grade 6 reported past year beer drinking at grade 7, compared with 13% in 25th percentile.
Conclusions Authors: Children at extremely high levels of overall advertising exposure were subsequently 50% more likely to drink and 36% more likely to intend to drink as those at low levels. These results are in line with Stacy et al (2004) but contradict the findings of Ellikson et al (2005).
Remarks of EUCAM:
This seems a thoroughly conducted study which is focused on more types of alcohol marketing than only televised alcohol advertisement. It is interesting to see the large effect of ownership of promotional items and drinking beer at a later age. The study finds a small but significant effect for the joint effect of exposure to televised beer ads in all models. As the authors already conclude, this is in line with the findings of Stacy et al (2004), but not with the findings of Ellikson et al (2005). The design of measurement of the main variables was similar to the other studies, but small differences in the specific questionnaires could explain these varying results. Alternatively, the older sample of Ellickson could explain the differences in results. It is important to test in further research what could explain these differences in findings.